For the operating system itself, there are icons at the side of the screen which point to documentation on the web. We also have the RedHat Linux FAQ and the RedHat Linux Getting Started Guide
On the Linux network there is a great variety of software. For mathematical computations, we have the standard software, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab (in alphabetical order).
There is also a great deal of documentation. For text and program editing, exam, paper, thesis writing, my biased recommendations are simple:
The file systems are networked, so turning the machine power off or pushing the power button can damage your files.
Never, EVER turn the machine off.
In cases of emergency, holding down the Control and Alt keys, and pressing the backspace key will clean things up and log you out. If it does not, call for help.
The rest of this document will be point you to documentation for Emacs and TeX, to create the documents you need, to the documentation for the printers.